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Scaling-up efforts to support women in the clean cooking market


Six energy-poor counties in Kenya and Tanzania have been identified as the new targets of an initiative to develop the clean energy market, with The Adventure Project and Energy 4 Impact announcing an expansion of their work in the region. With improved cookstoves at the heart of the project, the expansion will support women-led enterprises to further develop the market for clean cooking, while also minimising carbon dioxide emissions and creating more jobs. It is expected that this phase of expansion will lead to approximately 174,000 people with increased access to clean energy.

The Adventure Project and Energy 4 Impact have together been offering business and technology training as well as access to finance and market opportunities to women in rural Kenya and Tanzania. The WIRE (Women in Renewable Energy) programme, for which The Adventure Project provides financial support, has been in place over the last three years and is aimed at integrating women in the renewable energy value chain. At least 200 women, working as energy entrepreneurs, have benefited from this programme.

Through the WIRE programme, The Adventure Project and Energy 4 Impact have trained and provided women with the skills and financial resources to manufacture, sell or distribute improved cookstoves. The entrepreneurs were supported to establish and run local businesses, giving communities access to cleaner, safer and healthier cookstoves, rather than the harmful and polluting facilities otherwise used. The adoption of clean energy products means less carbon dioxide emissions into the environment, less smoke emitted in family homes and more efficient ways of cooking.

Reflecting our ambition to expand our impact and strengthen the clean cooking market in new target areas, the next three years of the project will be known as Scaling-up WIRE. In Swahili we will also refer to it as Nishati na Wanakawe (Women and Energy).

Scaling-up WIRE will introduce 150 new recruits to the programme, while continuing to support 150 women entrepreneurs who were involved in the programme previously. These women in rural Kenya and Tanzania are from communities which have been identified as being amongst the most poor and vulnerable.

In Kenya, the focus will be on strengthening the supply chain and increasing demand in new geographical areas for the cookstoves. With women entrepreneurs manufacturing the cookstoves, Energy 4 Impact will continue to identify retailers and establish connections to develop sufficient supply and demand. While in the new target areas, the focus will be to support manufacturers set up their production facilities and identify and engage suppliers.

The improved cookstove market in Tanzania is less developed than in Kenya. As such, the focus in Tanzania will be to support manufacturers and retailers in the Mwanza, Geita and Simiyu regions to introduce certified Jiko Smart stoves among the other types of traditional stoves. The Jiko Smart is one of the cookstoves developed to help bring cleaner cooking to these communities.

We are very excited to have the opportunity to expand our work in the region, which means more women earning income in the production, sales, assembly, and installation of cookstoves, expanded geographical scope and markets, and more people who benefit from clean cooking products. We are grateful for our partnership with The Adventure Project and will continue to engage more stakeholders in order to achieve tangible results and sustained impact,

said Present Mlay, SWIRE Project Coordinator for Tanzania.

With 174,000 people expected to gain increased access to clean energy through the programme, the scale-up will also mitigate up to 130,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide. The success of the first three years shows the benefit to not only vulnerable communities, but also in terms of enhancing environmental sustainability.

It is an honor to partner with Energy 4 Impact. Their dedication to helping women become profitable entrepreneurs is inspiring and we are excited to do even more together,

said Becky Straw from The Adventure Project.